New mums need more post-natal depression checks to make sure they are bonding with their babyMidwives and health visitors check on new mothers for up to six weeksAfter, they face months without a formal appraisal of how they are coping Child abuse charity The Wave Trust carried out the researchFound babies of depressed mothers likely to be 'aggressive and break law'
23:56 GMT, 21 March 2013
09:38 GMT, 22 March 2013
New mothers should be interviewed three to four months after they give birth to check they are bonding with their babies, according to a Government-commissioned report.
At the moment, midwives and health visitors usually check on new mothers for up to six weeks after their delivery.
But after that they face several months without a formal appraisal of how they are coping with motherhood.
New mothers should be interviewed three to four months after they give birth to check they are bonding with their babies, according to a Government-commissioned report
Child abuse charity The Wave Trust,
which carried out the research, said failing to check for post-natal
depression, domestic violence or alcoholism at this stage can have a
long-lasting impact on the child.
They found babies who formed poor relationships with their mothers were more likely to become aggressive and break the law when they got older.
And they said the 15 per cent of children who suffer neglect or violence at the hands of their parents are responsible for nearly three-quarters of disruptive behaviour among children.
The report was commissioned by the Department for Education and supported by the Department of Health.
The findings have also been endorsed by Childrens Minister Elizabeth Truss
It also suggests adding two more assessment interviews – one during pregnancy and the other when the child is 12 to 15 months old.
Wave Trust chief executive George Hosking said: ‘This report, if adopted fully, could contribute to transforming the quality of childhood in this country.’
The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed the study’s recommendations.
Chief executive Professor Cathy Warwick said: ‘It makes good sense, particularly in the climate just now when a lot of women aren’t having continuity of care from health professionals.
‘We want to help that situation because it leads to a lot of women falling through the cracks.’
The findings have also been endorsed by Children’s Minister Elizabeth Truss, who said: ‘As our understanding of the brain development of babies continues, so too must our policies.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘We will carefully consider all the recommendations in this report.’